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Exporters of processed cocoa attend seminar on market opportunities in CanadaTuesday, March 28, 2017 > 11:39:29
Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) and the Ghana Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Trade Facilitation Office (TFO), Canada, has held a day’s technical seminar for exporters of processed cocoa on market opportunities in Canada.
Dubbed: ‘Exporting Cocoa Products to Canada,’ the seminar was to provide export ready companies an in-depth knowledge of Canadian standards and other access conditions needed to produce and export cocoa products to Canada.
It was also to target Small and Medium size cocoa processing companies interested in diversifying their export markets to Canada as well as consolidating their market presence.
The exporters received an overview of the fundamental considerations required to ensure smooth entry and doing business in the Canadian markets.
Mr Stephen Normeshie, General Manager, GEPA, in a speech read on behalf of the Chief Executive of GEPA, said the seminar was a key part of GEPA’s on-going efforts to diversify Ghana’s export markets and reduce our overreliance on the European Union Market.
“We are optimistic that our exporters will take advantage of this opportunity to expand our market base,” he said.
Ghana exports some products to Canada mainly cocoa and cocoa preparations, which accounts for $17 million, or around 74 per cent of all exports from Ghana and Wood articles $3 million or around 13 per cent of all exports from Ghana to Canada.
Mr Normeshie said even for the primary traditional exports, there was a big gap between what we export and what Canada needs.
While the total Canadian import market for cocoa and cocoa preparations is $1.3 billion and growing at a rate of 3.5 per cent over the last five years, Ghana’s market share stands at a paltry 1.2 per cent; and has even been declining over the past five years.
Mr Normeshie attributed the general decline in Ghana’s exports, particularly low exports of non-traditional products, to Canada to lack of needed information and the required institutional support from Canada.
He said it was in this direction that GEPA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Trade Facilitation Office (TFO) Canada in September 2014 with the objective to co-operate with TFO for the joint implementation of a project within TFO Canada’s 2014-18 Canadian Market Access and Capacity Building Services Programme.
Mr Normeshie said the project was purposed to build the capacity of GEPA to understand the Canadian market in order for her to help Small and Medium sized exporters in Ghana access the Canadian market.
In a welcoming remarks, Mr Mark Badu-Aboagye, Chief Executive Officer GNCC, said the seminar had come at an opportune time for Ghanaian exporters to diversify their export products as well as increase their export volumes to Canada.
He urged the exporters to adopt best business practices to enable Ghana to remain competitive and increase its market presence in Canada.
As part of the MOU, TFO is jointly working with GEPA and GCCI to support exporters in the processed Cocoa Sector, understand and export their products to Canada.
In a presentation on Exporting to Canada, Mr Bertrand Walle, a seasoned food expert, said imports to Canada were increasing but there was a huge gap that Ghana could tap into.
He called on the exporters to position themselves to be able to take advantage of the opportunities.
Mr Walle urged the exporters to ensure they meet the strict requirements for food standards in the Canadian market such as proper labelling, packaging, product classification and proper documentation.